Tribes transcend demographics and generations. Or do they?

What we once called lifestyle segments are now more trendily referred to as tribes.

According to one expert, a tribe is a way of life. A tribe adheres to a set of values and common behaviours. Yep, that’s a lifestyle segment.

I think that, in the face of unprecedented changes in the demographic makeup of our planet, tribe or lifestyle segmentation makes a lot more sense than the blunt segmentation instruments of old i.e. demographics and generations.2015-08-09_16-55-17

Check out this video in The Australian (maybe behind a paid firewall), where renowned Aussie demographer Bernard Salt talks about tribes and their relevance to the local property market.

But in this particular article, Salt contradicts his definition and suggests that even tribes have their demographics. In fact he’s identified two such ‘tribes’ among retirees; The SFR is the self-funded retiree who through effort and application has accumulated sufficient funds to live comfortably in retirement. And the DBRs, defined benefit retirees who by luck or virtue have found themselves in retirement, often from an early age, on some multiple of their final salary.

I beg to differ. These are not tribes in the true sense. They are economic segments.

Nevertheless, the basic principle holds true. Tribes are a more valuable segmentation tool for marketers than demos and generational segments.